Can the power of our collective prayers and intentions help to facilitate social healing and global transformation?
David Nicol explains the rational behind the Gaiafield Project that we mentioned yesterday:
“Conventional approaches to activism, embedded in the dominant modern paradigm of materialism, tend to promote direct engagement in the overt structures of the political arena (e.g., street demonstrations, lobbying campaigns, legal actions) as the most effective means to bring about positive social change. However, in keeping with the emergence in many intellectual disciplines and cultural developments of a more holistic or integral vision of reality (in which the subtler, inner dimensions of human experience are being reclaimed), it may be time to broaden our understanding of the possibilities open to todayâ€™s activist. In particular, we can start to recognize more subtle forms of activism that utilize the active potential of consciousness to positively influence the social and political sphere.
For the purposes of this short article, I will define subtle activism as â€œcontemplative practices intended to positively influence the social realm.â€ A prime example is a globally-synchronized meditation and prayer event, in which thousands of people from all around the world join together in shared silence and prayers for peace. The idea is that the focused mental, emotional and/or spiritual attention of a group can in and of itself exert a subtle positive influence on the social realm. An underlying concept is that consciousness is not an epiphenomenon of the brain, but a non-local field in which we are embedded.
The idea of subtle activism is scientifically supported by the results of the Global Consciousness Project (in which significant correlations have been demonstrated between events that capture the worldâ€™s attention and non-random activity in a global network of random number generators) and by research into the so-called â€œMaharishi Effectâ€ (in which 23 studies published in peer-reviewed academic journals show highly significant correlations between the practice of TM meditation by large groups and improvements in social indicators like crime rates).
With the increasing sophistication of the Internet and the (associated) emergence of a planetary consciousness, global meditation and prayer events are becoming more and more popular (see, for instance, www.gaiafield.net). It is as though a common dream is arising from within the heart of humanity â€“ to experience the beauty of our planetary togetherness. French paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin had the same dream over seventy years ago, predicting an evolutionary leap to a new planetary â€˜organicosocial supercomplex,â€™ fuelled by the attraction of humans toward the emerging possibility of global unity consciousness. Global meditation events, especially those incorporating new Internet audio-visual technologies, give participants a direct and emotionally moving experience of this emerging reality. While the potential of this practice has scarcely been tapped, I contend that subtle forms of activism like global meditation and prayer, especially when integrated with more conventional forms of activism, can play a crucial unifying role in any holistic approach to social change and global transformation.
More Information about David:
David Nicol is the Director of the Gaiafield Project (www.gaiafield.net), which aims to support the emergence of a global network of spiritual peacemakers who will participate in regular global meditation and prayer events for world peace. In partnership with a growing consortium of peace-building organizations, the Gaiafield Project will convene a series of global meditation events, including a Wiser USA Global Meditation on the eve of the US elections in November 2008. David is currently writing his PhD dissertation at the California Institute of Integral Studies on the topic of subtle activism.